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Children a huge part of TCP’s spring show

More than 50 children are involved in the Tyrone Community Players’ (TCP) spring musical Oliver! The timeless musical is based on the Charles Dickens classic story “Oliver Twist.”
The award winning show will be performed at the Tyrone Area Senior High School auditorium Saturday evening, June 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 22 at 2 p.m. Adult tickets are $10 and children’s tickets are $8. Tickets can be reserved by calling 684-ART2.
Veteran TCP director Cindy Bennett wasn’t planning on having so many children in the show.
“You know I’m a sucker for kids,” Bennett said smiling. “I couldn’t call anyone and say that they didn’t get a part. I was only planning on 20 or so, but we were fortunate that everyone who auditioned had talent and abilities that we could use.”
Jared Wood is the Artful Dodger and his brother Eli is the title character Oliver.
“Both these boys have been in TCP shows – everything from ‘A Christmas Caroled’ to ‘The Jungle Book’,” Bennett said. “Darcy Wilson has been everything from a nun to a ditzy Florida trailer court resident. She is playing Nancy – one of Fagin’s former thieves,” Bennett continued. “Bill Markley, another TCP veteran is the villain you love to hate – Bill Sykes and Ralph Harris is Mr. Bumble, the pompous, self-important minor church official for the workhouse where Oliver is born. Ralph, who hasn’t been involved with TCP for a while does a great job playing the self-righteous, greedy hypocrite Bumble. The character is so much not like Ralph in real life.”
Kathy Fink is Widow Corney, a sharp-tongued domineering woman.
“Kathy is someone we can really count on – both onstage and back stage,” Bennett said.
Paul Mills and Betsy Beck are Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, the undertaker and his wife, who are decent people who are very kind to Oliver. Emily Wilson is Charlotte Sowerberry, the undertaker’s daughter. Ali Baker is Bet, a teenager in Fagin’s gang who has her eye on following in Nancy’s footsteps. Steve Helsel is Fagin, the trainer of the pickpockets and a very lascivious criminal, although somewhat endearing.
Karen Mayhew is the musical director for Oliver!
“The music is coming together nicely,” Mayhew said. “With so very many children, we’ve got a nice chorus working for us. Many of them are new to musicals,” Mayhew continued. “All of our principles have a great deal of musical theatre background so you know they’ll be able to help all the children with staging and singing.”
Oliver! is made possible by grants from American Eagle Paper Mills, Tyrone’s Albemarle Corporation, and DelGrosso’s Amusement Park.
“If these local companies didn’t underwrite a portion of the show, we wouldn’t be able to provide live theater in the Tyrone region,” Bennett said.
“We appreciate their financial involvement and support.”